UK workers suffer one of
sharpest wage falls in EU

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The value of UK workers’ wages has suffered one of the sharpest falls in the European Union, House of Commons library figures have shown.

The 5.5 per cent reduction in average hourly wages since mid-2010, adjusted for inflation, means British workers have felt the squeeze more than those in countries which have been rocked by the eurozone crisis including Spain, which saw a 3.3 per cent drop over the same period and Cyprus, where salaries fell by three per cent in real terms.

Only the Greeks, Portuguese and Dutch have had a steeper decline, the analysis showed, while in Germany hourly wages rose by 2.7 per cent over the same period and in France there was a 0.4 per cent increase.

Across the EU as a whole the average fall in wages, adjusted for the European Central Bank’s harmonised index of consumer prices, was -0.7 per cent and in the eurozone area it was -0.1 per cent.

Shadow Treasury Minister Cathy Jamieson said: “These figures show the full scale of David Cameron’s cost of living crisis. Working people are not only worse off under the Tories, we’re also doing much worse than almost all other EU countries.

“Despite out of touch claims by ministers, life is getting harder for ordinary families as prices continue rising faster than wages. People on middle and low incomes have also seen tax rises and cuts to tax credits, while millionaires have been given a huge tax cut.

“Ministers keep talking about the global race, but when it comes to living standards it’s clear we’re losing. David Cameron and George Osborne’s economic policies have badly failed over the last three years and working people are paying a heavy price.”